Margined streamside moss (Scouleria marginata) recovery strategy 2008: chapter 1


This recovery strategy has been prepared in cooperation with the jurisdictions responsible for the margined streamside moss. Environment Canada has reviewed and accepts this document as its recovery strategy for the margined streamside moss, as required under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). This recovery strategy also constitutes advice to other jurisdictions and organizations that may be involved in recovering the species.

The goals, objectives and recovery approaches identified in the strategy are based on the best existing knowledge and are subject to modifications resulting from new findings and revised objectives.

This recovery strategy will be the basis for one or more action plans that will provide details on specific recovery measures to be taken to support conservation and recovery of the species. The Minister of the Environment will report on progress within five years as required under SARA.

Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy and will not be achieved by Environment Canada or any other jurisdiction alone. In the spirit of the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, the Minister of the Environment invites all responsible jurisdictions and Canadians to join Environment Canada in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the margined streamside moss and Canadian society as a whole. 

Strategic Environmental Assessment Statement

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all SARA recovery planning documents, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. The purpose of a SEA is to incorporate environmental considerations into the development of public policies, plans, and program proposals to support environmentally sound decision-making.

Recovery planning is intended to benefit species at risk and biodiversity in general. However, it is recognized that strategies may also inadvertently lead to environmental effects beyond the intended benefits. The planning process based on national guidelines directly incorporates consideration of all environmental effects, with a particular focus on possible impacts on non-target species or habitats. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly into the strategy itself, but are also summarized below.

This recovery strategy will clearly benefit the environment by promoting the recovery of the margined streamside moss. The potential for the strategy to inadvertently lead to adverse effects on other species was considered. The SEA concluded that this strategy will clearly benefit the environment and will not entail any significant adverse effects.


SARA defines residence as: a dwelling-place, such as a den, nest or other similar area or place, that is occupied or habitually occupied by one or more individuals during all or part of their life cycles, including breeding, rearing, staging, wintering, feeding or hibernating [Subsection 2(1)].

Residence descriptions, or the rationale for why the residence concept does not apply to a given species, are posted on the SARA Public Registry:


The margined streamside moss was listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) as Endangered in June 2003.

SARA section 37 requires the competent minister to prepare a recovery strategy for all listed extirpated, endangered or threatened species. SARA section 44 allows the Minister to adopt all or part of an existing plan for the species if it meets the requirements under SARA for content (sub-sections 41(1) or (2)).

The British Columbia Ministry of Environment led the development of this recovery strategy for the species in cooperation with Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service – Pacific and Yukon Region. The strategy meets SARA requirements in terms of content and process (Sections 39-41).

Species at Risk Act Requirements

The following sections address specific requirements of SARA that are not addressed in the Recovery Strategy for the Margined Streamside Moss in British Columbia (Appendix 1).

1.           Consultation

Opportunities for consultation will be afforded through posting on the SARA public registry. As there are currently no known occurrences of this species, no landowners will be directly affected by the advice provided in this recovery strategy. The individuals in Canada who are considered experts on the biology of the species were members of the recovery team or were consulted for information in the course of drafting this strategy.

2.           Feasibility

Section 5 of the following recovery strategy discusses the challenges related to determining the feasibility of recovering this species.

Under the Species at Risk Act (S. 40), the competent minister is required to determine whether the recovery of the listed species is technically and biologically feasible. Given the available information, and bearing in mind the uncertainty of this species’ existence in Canada, the Minister has followed the guidance of the federal feasibility policy, and determined that recovery is feasible at this time. This decision may be revisited as more information becomes available. As the lead agency, the Government of British Columbia has determined that it is unknown whether recovery is feasible.

3.           Socio-economic Considerations

The Recovery Strategy for the Margined Streamside Moss in British Columbia contains a short statement on socio-economic considerations. As a socio-economic analysis is not required under Section 41(1) of SARA, the Socio-economic Considerations section of the Recovery Strategy for the Margined Streamside Moss in British Columbia is not considered part of the Minister of Environment's recovery strategy for this species.

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